Waitress takes charge

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I saw the 2007 movie Waitress last night and was blown away by how simple and poignant and silly and empowering it was.

This one was marketed as a "food" movie, because the lead character Jenna (Keri Russell, who played Felicity with the curly hair on tv many years ago) was a waitress who dreamed up recipes for pie. The names she gives the pies are amusing and culled from her personal experiences.

Jenna is in an abusive marriage and one night her useless husband gets her drunk and as a result she becomes pregnant. Her OB is cute but married -- nonetheless, they have an affair. Jenna is not happy about her impending motherhood and in fact is saving money so that she could run away from her husband. Alas he foils her plan and discovers the money she has stashed away. She becomes resigned to her fate.

While in labor, however, she gathers the courage to face her issues. First, that she must leave her husband. Second, that he boyfriend is in no way leaving his wife for her. She is better off with neither of them.

And when she looks at her baby for the first time, Jenna realizes she loves her instantly and becomes bold enough to tell Earl she wants a divorce and tell her doctor this is the end of their affair.

She is soon able to put her pie-making skills to good use. She is able to buy the diner she used to work for.  Her friends -- co-waitresses -- are with her until the end. She raises her child, Lulu, on her own.

The last scene has mother and daughter, in identical yellow dresses, walking off on a road, a promising future ahead of them.

In one scene, Jenna confronts her boss and asks him whether he is happy. He says he is happy enough. But "happy enough" is not enough. Everybody deserves a "happy!!!" One must stop waiting around for things to happen. It is never too late to start over and take charge of your life.

I can say only two things: First, great films need not be "art" or award-reaping films. Two, the best love stories do not necessarily involve the opposite sex (or the same sex, however way one is oriented). Sometimes you need only yourself: your old pathetic helpless version, and the one you eventually evolve into.


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